WotW: Gabrielle Giffords
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
People are a lot like diamonds. You see, the process of forming a diamond is truly just taking an ordinary stone, putting that stone through intense heat and pressure, and the final product being a beautiful, worthy gem. One person that represents beauty from excruciating circumstances is female politician Gabrielle Giffords.
Arizona-born Giffords began her political career in 2000, when she was given a seat in the Arizona State House. Trying her luck, Giffords ran for Arizona Senate in 2002, and won. This gave her the title of the youngest female ever elected for the Senate. However, when you’re aiming for the moon, the stars are not sufficient enough. Giffords, in 2005, won the congressional seat for the 8th District, serving on the Armed Forces, Foreign Affairs, and Science & Technology committees while chairing the Energy and Environment and Space and Aeronautics subcommittees.
During her college years, Giffords majored in Latin American studies and for a short time, lived in Chihuahua, Mexico. As a result, many of her campaign efforts centralized on addressing border control and violence. She was outspoken about her support for the Affordable Care Act, as well as a $600 million border security bill. For the young Giffords, life was blissful.
Then the pressure came. And the heat burned. This gray stone was about to become a diamond worth fighting for.
January 8th, 2011 changed the life of Congresswoman Giffords forever. On that fateful day, adolescent Jared Lee Lougher shot Giffords in the head outside of a Safeway store. Lougher also killed Judge John M. Roll, a little girl, and several others.
As if it was a miracle from Heaven above, Giffords recovered quickly. She relearned how to speak, walk, and do the things that we often take for granted. Justice was done, and Logher is now living the rest of his life in a prison cell. Due to the time involvement needed to recover, Giffords retired from Congress, but aspires to come back one day.
HerCulture girls, there are going to be moments where you are mocked, ridiculed, or even persecuted for your beliefs. The possibility of giving up may seem enticing, but this is just the beginning of your process into becoming a rare and exquisite gem. Shine bright, shine brilliant.